United Fund awards more than $581,000 to nonprofits


Montgomery County United Fund awarded more than $581,000 to area nonprofit agencies in 2020 through the annual fundraising campaign and a COVID-19 relief program.

“2020’s been a heck of a year,” United Fund board president Heather Shirk said as members recognized the agencies during a virtual annual meeting Wednesday.

Money was distributed to 17 local organizations that were selected by the board as campaign partners or applied for funding through the Indiana United Ways and Lilly Endowment’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative.

The annual campaign also supports other area groups identified by donors.

The partner agencies include the Boys & Girls Club of Montgomery County, Camp Rotary, Crawfordsville Adult Resource Academy, Community Chest, Family Crisis Shelter, Fuzzy Bear Preschool and 4 Anchors Women’s Ministries.

Rounding out the list are New Beginnings Child Care, Pam’s Promise, Recovery Coalition, Sunshine Vans, Trinity Life Ministry, Volunteers for Mental Health in Montgomery County, Willson Family Literacy and the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau.

Eight of the groups also applied for and received grants from the emergency response program. Funding was also distributed to Dusk-to-Dawn Bereavement Services and the Women’s Resource Center, which are not partner agencies.

More than $213,000 in emergency grants have been distributed so far. The funding equipped the Family Crisis Shelter, which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, to do video calls with victims confined at home with their abuser.

The agency has seen an increase in clients needing outreach services since the pandemic began.

“It’s been very hard to deal with safety plans when [victims are] with someone constantly,” executive director Anita Byers told the board.

Crawfordsville Adult Resource Academy used its emergency funds to hire a part-time teacher for on-site classes and purchase personal protective equipment.

CARA also purchased WiFi hotspots for student Chromebooks and three new laptops.

“The Chromebooks are sufficient for online [classes] and testing, but we do have students who want to do online certifications,” said Kathy Tobias, adult education director.

United Fund hopes to allocate and distribute the remaining $12,000 in emergency funds this week, Shirk said.

The board also elected new officers and recognized incoming members. New members include Kayla Bretney, Metronet; Michele Hunley, American Family Insurance; Bekah Lee; Aaron Murdock, Stock & Field; Sina Parks, Montgomery County Soil & Water Conservation District; and Jarrod Zachary.

Hunley was elected board treasurer and Bretney will serve as secretary. Brian Campbell was re-elected vice president.

Retiring board members Claudette Etter-Kirk, Lori Holt, Adam Nagele, Nancy Outcalt, Denise Rosentreter and Kelli Welch were also recognized.

It was the first annual meeting for United Fund’s new area director Gina Haile, who was hired earlier this morning. The board also recognized outgoing office manager Heather Hernandez, who was praised for helping run the organization during the search for a director.

The annual campaign is being extended into January as the United Fund anticipates donations from more companies.


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